With proper care and regular check-ups, zirconia crowns can last a lifetime.
On average, patients expect to get between ten and 20 years of wear out of their zirconia dental crowns, but some report upwards of 30 years of wear.
What are zirconia crowns pros and cons?
When it comes to zirconia crowns pros and cons, they’re best examined by looking at other dental crown materials in comparison.
Zirconia crown vs. porcelain
Zirconia crowns are made of a biocompatible material that virtually eliminates the possibility of an adverse reaction. For some people, the metal lining of a porcelain crown means that the crown can cause irritation and other complications.
The metal lining of a porcelain crown may also peek above the crown right at the gumline. Although it does not matter so much in terms of molars, this dark metal line is not the best look for front teeth. Zirconia crowns are appropriate aesthetically for both front and back teeth.
Some might argue in favor of strong all-metal crowns, but again, this is not necessarily appropriate for front teeth. Most patients will prefer dental crowns that blend seamlessly with their natural teeth, and zirconia dental crowns are the best choice in that regard.
Advantages of zirconia crowns
In terms of strength, durability, and appearance, zirconia dental crowns are superior to other crown materials. Zirconia as a material mimics the appearance of natural teeth, reflecting light in the same way. This means zirconia crowns can be more closely matched to existing teeth.
Zirconium oxide is also up to five times stronger than porcelain or porcelain/metal crowns, which means less chance of cracking, chipping, or breaking at any time over their long lifespan.
Zirconia crown disadvantages
Although zirconia dental crowns are an excellent choice in terms of appearance and durability, there is one significant disadvantage. This disadvantage is also an advantage: their durability. Zirconia crowns are so tough that they can cause extra wear on the teeth surrounding the crown and the teeth they impact when a patient bites down.
Further, the tough material can cause wear underneath the crown on the natural tooth. This wear can lead to tooth decay and recurrent caries that is only discovered when the zirconia crown falls off or the patient reports pain underneath the crown.
Regular checkups and proper hygiene are important to monitor and correct zirconia crown problems that might arise. Working with a highly-qualified dentist is also an important part of getting the correct fit and type of crown for your smile.
What should I get?
Ultimately, the type of crown you get is a matter of budget, personal preference, and the recommendation of your dentist.
Zirconia crowns fall on the higher end of the dental crown price range because of their durability. Patients need to balance the upfront cost of the crown with the fact that zirconia dental crowns tend to last much longer than porcelain or ceramic crowns.
While metal crowns are also quite durable, not everyone wants metal on their front teeth.
The dental crown that you choose should fit your budget and your lifestyle
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